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BlackBerry

  • It looks like BlackBerry has finally blown it

    I am an ardent fan of BlackBerry and its latest offerings, based on BlackBerry OS 10, were some of the easiest to use (and smartest) of the current batch of smartphones. Even before the recent job cuts and the pending acquisition, BlackBerry have had a tough ride the past few years. Its older OS, BB7, was way overdue for a replacement and OS 10 took three years too long to come to market. BlackBerry experienced a number of system failures that left its faithfully out of touch for far too long, and to compound that, BlackBerry carried on as...

  • BlackBerry to be acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings for $4.7 billion

    BlackBerry announced today that it has agreed to be acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for US$4.7-billion, pending due diligence. The conclusion of the deal would be seen as a positive outcome, enabling BlackBerry to go private and re-focus on enterprise solutions beyond the stresses of Wall Street. By way of a letter of intent, BlackBerry said that shareholders would receive US$9 in cash for each BlackBerry share they hold. The deal is not final as the announcement stipulates that BlackBerry is entitled to "go-shop" during the due diligence period, subject to payment of a termination fee in the event of...

  • BBM for iPhone and Android halted… for now

    Things are not going well for BlackBerry this weekend. First it announced that it will be laying off around 4 500 members of staff then its much awaited messenger app (BBM) doesn't quite launch for other operating systems as promised. BlackBerry has pulled its BBM app from Apple's App Store and it seems the Android version never made it Google's Play store. According to a blog post from the handset manufacturer, an unreleased Android version of the app was leaked which caused a number of issues. Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for...

  • BBM for iPhone, Android to save us from iMessage, WhatsApp on 21 September

    While BlackBerry is rumoured to be pursuing a sale -- to be wrapped up as quickly as November -- and preparing another round of layoffs, the embattled Canadian titan is still releasing devices and plowing ahead with plans to roll out BBM to the iPhone and Android platforms. The once exclusively BlackBerry-only club will open its doors on 21 September and there is no cover charge -- BBM will be available as a free download in Google Play and the App Store. Why would you leave the comfort of iOS 7's swanky new messages app or your swiss-army knife of...

  • BlackBerry director: fighting tech giants is tough — we may have to go niche

    If you were tasked with figuring out BlackBerry's future, what would you do? Pin all your hopes on its new phones and revamped operating system? Shift the focus to enterprise software? Or sell it for parts? Well, those are some of the questions facing director Bert Nordberg, who seems to be leaning towards a future where BlackBerry is a "niche company". Noderberg, who is part of a special committee which was formed to explore strategic alternatives for the company, told the Wall Street Journal that he thinks the company can survive if it dials back on its broader ambitions and...

  • BlackBerry looking for buyers as it runs out of options

    Reception to this announcement will probably be divided. Some will be delighted that BlackBerry is finally ready to sell itself, seemingly for parts while others mourn the passing of the company that pretty much made smartphones popular. The Canadian-based company announced on Monday that it was forming a special committee "to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment". Among those options are "possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances", and most strikingly, "a sale of the company or other possible transactions". That's a new low for a company whose devices were...

  • Indonesia considers fining BlackBerry $1.5 million for future BBM outages

    After successfully bullying BlackBerry to block porn access from its devices, the Indonesian government now thinks it might be a good idea to fine BlackBerry IDR 1 000 ($0.10) per subscriber if BlackBerry Messenger service, the ubiquitous BBM, suffers another outage for over four hours. With BlackBerry having about 15-million subscribers in Indonesia, that will amount to US$1.5-million. According to local news site Detik, the scheme proposed by Indonesia’s telecoms regulator (BRTI) is simple. After the next BBM outage occurs, BlackBerry has to directly refund Indonesian subscribers to their phone credit. This past month alone, there have been two major...

  • BlackBerry’s fruit falls despite healthy predictions

    After launching its new BlackBerry 10 series to take on the dominant players in the smartphone market, investors are unimpressed, with the company's shares dropping 20%. As Reuters reports, this came after the German mobile developer released its most recent quarterly financial report today. BlackBerry launched two phones at the beginning of this year -- the Z10 fancy pants touch screen and the Q10. The latter is sans touch screen but has one of those BlackBerry QWERTY keyboards many die-hard fans so firmly love. Well, apparently these two guys couldn't face up to the challenge of keeping up with the...

  • Why BlackBerry, Microsoft’s desperate scrap for third place is so important

    Few people remember third place. Whether in sport, science or business, there's little glory attached to the bronze medal. But two multinational giants, BlackBerry and Microsoft, are straining to be the third player in the burgeoning smart phone market. The latest figures from IDC, an industry analyst, show a rapidly expanding global market for this new generation of mobile phones. Over 216-million handsets were shipped during the first three months of 2013, an increase of over 40% compared with the same period in 2012. But the lion's share of that market -- over 92% -- is flowing to the two dominant...

  • BlackBerry Messenger is headed to Android and iOS: but can it compete?

    Finally. After years of rumours and cries for a cross-platform service, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is headed to phones that don't carry the company's logo. As CEO Thorsten Heins revealed at BlackBerry Live yesterday, the popular instant messaging app is headed to Android and iDevices later this year -- but can it find a foothold among all the messaging apps clogging up the various app stores? Despite the worldwide marketshare BlackBerry has lost over the past few years, BBM, which is a pre-installed app which allows users to send videos, voice notes, text, photos and, more recently, make video calls over...

  • BlackBerry stock falls after opening up BBM to iOS, Android

    There were always going to be questions around BlackBerry's decision to open up its BBM messaging platform and some of the loudest came from the stock market. Shares in the Canadian smartphone maker dropped four percent following CEO Thorsten Heins' keynote at the BlackBerry Live conference yesterday. During the keynote, Heins announced a new mid-range Qwerty phone for emerging markets, channels for BBM and the launch of BBM for iOS and Android. While the Q5, a 3.1-inch touch and keyboard device, and BBM channels, a social networking feature within BBM, make sense, there have been questions around how wise...

  • BlackBerry CEO reveals mid-range Q5, Channels, BBM coming to iOS, Android

    The BlackBerry faithful and converts alike gathered in Florida today to watch BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins deliver his first keynote since the BlackBerry 10 launch back in January this year. So how has the troubled smartphone maker fared since its rebirth? "Some said last year's conference would be the last for BlackBerry. They said it would by my first and last time on stage. I'm happy to say they were wrong," said Heins. "This year feels very, very different. It's been an incredible year for BlackBerry, there's still a lot to do, but man, we have reached solid ground...

  • BlackBerry CEO: in 5 years, there ‘won’t be a reason to have a tablet’

    With the success of the iPad, the global uptake in the number of tablet computers and the urgency that almost every manufacturer on the planet has felt to create its own 7-to-10 inch slate, you'd think the last thing the boss of any mobile company would be talking about is the death of tablets. Well, you'd be wrong. BlackBerry's Thorsten Heins apparently thinks the gadgets won't see out the decade. Bloomberg reported today that the CEO doesn't put much stock in the trend, quoting him as saying "in five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a...

  • BlackBerry posts profit in Q4, but loses 3 million subscribers

    BlackBerry ended the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 -- the first to include sales of the Z10 -- in, well ... the black. The Waterloo-based communications company today announced its quarterly results and, while it's managed to stay profitable things are far from back to booming at the company. Revenue for the quarter was approximately US$2.7-billion, down US$49-million or two percent from approximately US$2.7-billion in the previous quarter and down 36% from US$4.2-billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2012. Ouch. Despite revenue falling though, its profit margin actually increased slightly. The company reported GAAP income from continuing operations...

  • BlackBerry is taking over your iPhone or Android to sell the Z10

    The tech world is no stranger to crazy billion dollar marketing budgets and massive campaigns that stretch to cover everything from print to mobile and in-store promotions to Times Square takeovers. So in the run-up to the US launch of BlackBerry's new Z10 smartphone, you'd expect the manufacturer to quickly capitalise on the hype with some innovative campaign. So, what does the company formerly known as RIM have up its sleeve? Takeovers. Big, flashy, real-time, mobile and desktop takeovers. Speaking to Forbes, BlackBerry's chief marketing officer Frank Boulben explained that the company would be deploying full screen takeovers targeting Android...